International Competitions and Events

Category: 
3. Programs
Policy Number: 
3.2.1
Policy Section: 
International Competitions and Events
Approved by: 
Executive Director
Date Approved: 
Mon, Sep 20, 2010
Date Effective: 
Immediately
Date Last Amended: 
Wed, Sep 1, 2010
Date of Next Review: 
Fri, Sep 28, 2018
Contact: 
Executive Director

1 Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to define the scope of Youth Science Canada’s authority with respect to participation in international youth science project competitions and events and to define the principles and procedures to be used in the selection of individuals and teams for these events.

2 Definitions

2.1 A competitive event is defined as a youth science project exhibition where specific awards for project quality are available to all participants.

2.2 A non-competitive event is defined as a youth science project exhibition where specific awards for project quality are not offered, or Canadian projects are only eligible for a minor subset or special category of these awards.

2.3 An adult participant is defined as the Event or Team Director or a chaperone.

2.4 A team is defined as four or more projects with youth participants, together with one or more adult participants. The ratio of adult to youth participants on a team shall be a minimum of 1:5 and a maximum of 1:2.

3 Authority

3.1 Youth Science Canada claims the exclusive right to represent Canada in international youth science organizations and to coordinate the selection of national teams (known as Team Canada-Event Name) or individuals to represent Canada at competitive and non-competitive international youth science project events. These include, but are not restricted to Mouvement International pour le Loisir Scientifique et Technique (MILSET), Society for Science and the Public (organizers of the Intel ISEF), International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering & Environment) Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) and the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS).

3.2 This authority does not preclude other organizations, including Youth Science Canada-affiliated regions and associated provincial organizations from participating in international youth science competitions or events where a direct invitation has been made or an affiliation is in place that fully complies with the requirements of the host organization. However, where an invitation to, or the criteria for, international event participation refers to a national team, a national selection process, or any form of national representation, Youth Science Canada claims authority.

4 Purpose and Goals for Team or Participant Selection

4.1 Projects and participants are selected separately for each specific team or event.

4.2 Teams or participants for competitive international events are selected with the goal of achieving the greatest possible success in winning available awards. This is consistent with our mandate to showcase Canada’s best young scientists and their projects on the international stage and to demonstrate that Canadian youth science is world-class.

4.3 Teams or participants for non-competitive international events are selected with the goal of identifying youth best suited to serve as ambassadors of Canada and Canadian youth science and to provide international opportunities for youth who have competed successfully at the national level of Youth Science Canada’s programs.

5 Eligibility

5.1 Youth shall be in Grades 9-12 (Secondary 3-5 and Cégep 1 or 2 in Québec) and at least 14 years of age on the first day of the event.

5.2 A youth or adult participant shall:

  1. be a Canadian citizen and hold a Canadian passport valid for at least six months after the final travel date for the event; or
  2. be a Permanent Resident and a citizen of a visa-waiver country (i.e., a country NOT listed at: www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp) who holds a Permanent Resident Card valid for at least six months after the final travel date for the event; or
  3. be a Permanent Resident and a citizen of a non visa-waiver country (i.e., a country listed at: www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp) who holds a Permanent Resident Card AND a passport, both valid for at least six months after the final travel date for the event.

5.3 Youth and adult participants living outside Canada at the time of application and/or during the event shall provide evidence that they (or a parent/guardian if under 18 years of age) agree to pay the cost of return travel, plus any associated accommodation, meals, and incidental expenses, from their place of residence to a Canadian airport, as specified by Youth Science Canada.

5.4 Adult participants shall be at least 21 years of age and are required to submit evidence of a clear criminal record check upon selection.

5.5 The Event or Team Director shall be at least 25 years of age and have demonstrated excellent leadership as an adult participant or delegate with youth of secondary school age at two or more national or international youth science events.

5.6 At least one male and one female adult participant are required for mixed gender groups or teams.

6 Authority for selection and criteria

6.1 The authority for approval of the selection process and criteria for international teams and individuals is delegated to the Executive Director, consistent with Board policy BSVR 1.

6.2 When a team is to be selected for a competition or event, the Executive Director shall delegate authority for the final selection decisions on team members to a formal Selection Panel.

6.3 When one or more individuals are to be selected for a competition or event, the Executive Director may delegate authority for the final selection decisions to a formal or ad hoc Selection Panel.

7 Selection process

7.1 Youth – Competitive events

  1. Team members may be selected:
    • as award recipients in a Youth Science Canada competitive program or event; or
    • through an open invitation process that creates a pool of applicants from which a team is then chosen. If the pool of applicants is greater than twice the number of available positions, a short list of candidates for final selection may be identified. The final selection process shall involve a project presentation by the candidate to a Selection Panel and an opportunity for the Panel to question the candidate. The final selection process shall reflect, as closely as practicable, the process, timing and criteria for judging at the event. The Selection Panel shall consist of at least 5 qualified individuals including representatives from the post-secondary academic, scientific, and event alumni communities, as well as the Youth Science Canada National Judging Committee. The Executive Director shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Selection Panel.
  2. Individual representatives may be selected:
    • as an award recipient in a Youth Science Canada competitive program or event; or
    • from the group of national and international medallists and award recipients in Youth Science Canada’s competitive programs during the previous 12 months. The Executive Director may delegate final selection to a formal Selection Panel, or provide a short list of candidates to an ad hoc selection team that includes at least two National Judging Committee or National Science Fair Committee members.

7.2 Youth – Non-competitive events

  1. Team members may be selected:
    • as award recipients in a Youth Science Canada competitive program or event; or
    • through a process that identifies a pool of candidates from participants in Youth Science Canada programs during the previous 24 months. Final selection shall involve a formal selection process including at least an interview with each candidate by a Selection Panel. This process may be delegated to provincial organizations.
  2. Individual representatives may be selected:
    • as an award recipient in a Youth Science Canada competitive program or event; or
    • from a pool of candidates identified from participants in Youth Science Canada programs during the previous 24 months. The Executive Director may delegate final selection to a formal Selection Panel, or provide a short list of candidates to an ad hoc selection team that includes at least two National Judging Committee or National Science Fair Committee members.

7.3 Adults

  1. The Event or Team Director may be selected:
    • by the Executive Director (or his/her designate) in collaboration with the previous Event or Team Director; or
    • through a process that identifies a pool of candidates from adult participants in Youth Science Canada programs during the previous 24 months and/or alumni of the particular event or program.
  2. Additional adult chaperones may be selected:
    • by the Event or Team Director in consultation with the Executive Director; or
    • through a process that identifies a pool of candidates from participants in Youth Science Canada programs during the previous 24 months. Final selection shall involve a formal selection process including at least an interview with each candidate by a Selection Panel. This process shall be delegated to provincial organizations where the selection of youth participants has also been delegated.

8 Selection criteria

8.1 Competitive events - Teams

  1. Short list selection shall be based on evaluation of a Research Plan or Project Report; compliance with Youth Science Canada and event application, safety, and ethics requirements; prior achievement; and behaviour at previous events.
  2. Final selection shall be based on project quality; the candidate’s ability to communicate his/her work; compliance with Youth Science Canada and event application, safety, and ethics requirements; alignment with the judging criteria for the specific event; interpersonal qualities that could impact team function; distribution of projects to minimize intra-team competition; and team size.

8.2 Competitive events – Individuals

  1. Final selection shall be based on project quality; the candidate’s ability to communicate his/her work; compliance with Youth Science Canada and event application, safety, and ethics requirements; and alignment with the judging criteria for the specific event.

8.3 Non-competitive events – Teams and Individuals

  1. Final selection shall be based on an evaluation of the candidate’s ability to communicate his/her work and serve as an ambassador of Canada and Canadian youth science. Project quality shall be used as a secondary selection criterion.

8.4 Adults

  1. Final selection shall be based on an evaluation of the candidate’s: ability to provide effective and appropriate supervision and support for youth selected for the program; experience with and contribution to Youth Science Canada programs and the specific international event or competition; ability to serve as an ambassador of Canada and Canadian youth science; and the potential for the candidate’s experience to contribute to future Youth Science Canada events or programs.

9 Post-selection considerations

9.1 After selection, team members or individuals shall demonstrate continued suitability for participation in the event, including compliance with registration requirements and deadlines, compliance with safety and ethics requirements, and adherence to the Youth Science Canada Code of Conduct.

9.2 Where a team member or individual is unable to participate in the event as a result of extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances, including disqualification by Youth Science Canada or the event organization, and where time permits, the Executive Director or his/her designate may directly appoint a substitute from an ordered list of alternates.

10 Reporting

10.1 The Event or Team Director shall prepare a report to the Executive Director including: a summary of the event’s highlights and results (if a competition); a financial accounting of all expenses, incident reports documenting Code of Conduct violations, and any issues or recommendations for consideration by future Event or Team Directors and Youth Science Canada.

11 Exceptional Circumstances

11.1 Youth Science Canada normally operates national teams that are open to eligible participants from all parts of Canada; however, the organization reserves the right to operate a national team or select individuals to participate in international events where eligibility is restricted by sponsor requirements or other conditions.

12 Appeals

12.1 Appeals of team or individual selection decisions shall be governed by Youth Science Canada Appeals policy (1.5.3).

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